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Redlair Preserve
Gaston County, NC
35.32° -81.12°


Redlair Farm and Forest consists of approximately 775 acres, privately owned by the Rankin family and protected by conservation easements held by the Catawba Lands Conservancy. Adjacent to the Rankin's property are an additional ~350 acres owned by the Catawba Lands Conservancy. Together, the protected properties are known as the "South Fork, Spencer Mountain Protected Zone."

Redlair is fortunate to have a stil-intact section of the South Fork of the Catawba River. Much of the rest of this river system near Charlotte disappears into reservoirs and Lake Wylie. The South Fork cuts sharply between Spencer Mountina to the west and the Catawba watershed-divide along the Hickory Grove Road. In so doing it creates deeply incised valleys with a mountainous character, despite a relief differentail of only 200 feet. Because of its extreme hilliness, less of Redlair was put under plow than is typical of Piemont. Absence of plow leads to other factors: Redlair is remarkable for the extent and integrity of its upland hardwood forests, many of which have not been cut for a centure and are unusually free of invasive plants. Redlair is remarkable, in particular, for the prescence of the big-leaf magnolia, a regionally rare tree which however thrives and is prevalent in the deep valleys of Redlair.

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under development

More information

Photograph by Les Mehrhoff
Rosa carolina
Carolina Rose


  • Nancy Lowe, Outreach Coordinator, Discover Life -- nancy@discoverlife.org -- 404-272-4526
Updated: 2 March, 2012
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